I find that its easier to avoid hitting adjacent strings when playing on the G and E strings, because the hand has more room to maneuver.

Also, playing at higher positions depresses the strings significantly. Since that is the case, it makes playing higher positions on the D and A strings frustrating, because you easily ends up playing chords instead of single notes.

Is there preference for playing high positions on G and E? (and, but not to distract from the main question) chords on the D and A strings?


You have an interesting point. I haven't noticed anything like a "preference" to to not use the middle strings for high shifting before, but I have noticed a few things:

  • Shifting on the E string can actually produce notes that can't be reached on any other string, so one for the E string! In order to tap into the violin's ability to hit super high notes (ignoring harmonics) you need to use the E string.

  • The G string, being thicker, offers slightly warmer tones than its neighbor, so it is often preferable, especially in a solo, to shift up on the G string than to use the lower D string.

  • Most of the time, shifting is done to avoid too much string-crossing and make the fingering slightly more realistic (physically possible?) So you probably won't find yourself shifting very high on the middle strings that often unless you're playing a piece that has a super duper high note on, say, the E string, and then requires a slightly lower note (that can be played on the A string without changing position, or by only changing it slightly) leading to a totally wack string crossing over to the lower G string. Which would be almost impossible to play fast with any other method.

So... Sort of? Maybe not intentionally, but there are a few factors that would cause that to happen naturally.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.